Have yourself a night the Kid line! All three members of the Kid line picked up the slack for the NY Rangers last night, each with a goal and an assist and Filip Chytil with the game winner to complete the comeback. The Kid line was certainly due for a performance like this, but it wouldn’t have happened without Jaro Halak. Halak kept the Rangers close as they again looked to play a two period hockey game, finishing with 31 saves.
After repeating much of the same mistakes and level of effort in the first periods against Carolina, the Rangers controlled the play from the second period on. They did not have a practice from Carolina to now, so maybe they needed a period to just kind of “get into the game”. It’s not alarming, but it’s something to be cautious about with few real practices in the playoffs. Regardless, the real Rangers showed up in the second period, and that’s what matters.
Patrick Kane also found the back of the net on a flukey deflection off the stick of Carter Verhaeghe for his 450th career goal. With 450 goals and 1,233 points, he became the second highest scoring American hockey player in NHL history. He may not be the player he once was, but with 8 points in 12 games, he is meeting expectations.
There is still an argument that Kane is going at about 80% right now, likely due to the combination of his hip issue and adjusting to a new team and city. I am genuinely curious what happens when the Rangers get into the playoffs and what he does to get to another gear. In 136 playoff games, he has 132 points, he’s historically a playoff performer. Can he find that magic again?
Despite the Kid line’s success, the win, and the play of Halak, there was still a bit of an issue in the top-six. The group as a whole looked a little lost, notably Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Perhaps this is just recency bias, as both have been solid all year and lead the Rangers in goals. With the rotating lines in the top six, it’s tough to find a rhythm. Hopefully this ends soon.